Lingayats also make the elections in Karnataka all the more interesting. The community is a crucial factor in Northern Karnataka, which includes more than a third of Karnataka’s 223 seats.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, has projected B. S. Yeddyurappa, a Lingayat, as its Chief Ministerial candidate, all through its campaigning. Making Lingayat strongman and the party’s chief ministerial candidate to contest from the north could impact 12 districts (96 constituencies) with a loyal Lingayat base.
In 2013, Yeddyurappa floated his own party – the Karnataka Janata Party – on the eve of the state assembly elections, ensuring that the BJP was relegated to the third position while the Congress went on to form the government.
As a result, the Congress garnered almost 15 per cent of the total Lingayat votes in that election.